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Island girl appears in Seattle International Film Festival movie

Former Whidbey Island resident Tara Slinden has found herself in the exciting position of attending the premiere of a film at the Seattle International Film Festival.

What’s even more exciting is that she is in the film, which will be screened on Saturday, June 7 and Monday, June 9.

“Sweet Thing,” directed by Bothell native Joe Lia, tells the story of a young woman named “Liz” who is on a mission to find love in between her barista shifts at a drive-through espresso stand.

Across town, “Jody” seeks answers in her own life by taking drugs while shuffling papers at her father’s office. The two become friends and embark on a summer of avoiding responsibility. As they grow closer, their lives become more complicated as issues of love and sex bubble to the surface.

Slinden plays the part of “Katie,” a character whom she describes as “the ever-so-slightly annoying friend of Liz.”

The 28-year-old Slinden is enrolled in the teaching program at Western Washington University and is currently getting her teaching certificate in elementary education at the branch campus at North Seattle Community College.

Slinden said she was involved in theater from a young age. She took dance classes at Island Dance as a young girl and first explored the world of theater at Whidbey Children’s Theater with Martha Murphy.

While studying to become a teacher, Slinden became involved with a new theater company in Shoreline called “The New Space.” That’s where she met some of the cast and the director of “Sweet Thing.”

“It was just a few short scenes so I agreed to do it and I am so glad that I did,” Slinden said.

Slinden said many of the scenes were shot in the Seattle area with additional footage shot on the south end of Whidbey.

“Joe did an amazing job of capturing the natural beauty of the island and the cinematography of the film is so lovely,” she said.

Slinden was pleased that even though she has a relatively small part in the film, she got the chance to see Los Angeles for the first time and will now go to see herself in a film at the Seattle International Film Festival.

“Sweet Thing” was also accepted at the Boston International Film Festival.

“I am loving every moment of this process and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I will always be passionate about acting and theater and film and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work on this film. I can’t wait to see what other projects there might be in the future,” Slinden said.

“Sweet Thing” is showing at the Harvard Exit theater in Seattle on June 7 and 9. Visit the Web site at www.siff.net for festival info.

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